I sometimes quote or reference some content from a couple books, when talking game design online and in front of my students. So I thought it's just fair to recommend them to you. Yeah, buy 'em, read 'em and become smarter in the process, ha.
David Perry on Game Design is a 1000 page monster. It basically scratches on everything one needs to know about game design. No really, mechanics, controls, genres, character creation, writing, weapons, IP creation, marketing, business models, pitching and more. It's not a long read, it's a handbook. So you wanna know something or wanna get some advice from pros, you look it up. And it's kinda cheap to get also.
Steve Swink's Game Feel is a well structured and researched breakdown of how players experience games and how to work with that. Covering controls, input devices, camera work, sound design, other effects, physics and basic well explained principles, it is a must read for everyone wanting to understand why video games rock.
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud is rightly referenced by comic artist, movie makers and game designers to be an essential read, when it comes to visual storytelling. How does visual style influence the viewer? How does camera angles and image transitions make for good storytelling? ...and more answered in this milestone book. (don't get fooled by the picture, it shows my german edition)
Nic Kelman's Video Game Art is not an art book. It's a wrap up of how visual design in video games has evolved and how it shapes video game experiences. A solid guide on character design, enviromental design, design of objects and more. Weird: My copy has bugs, meaning there are some paragraphs leaving the page but never getting picked up again and things like that.